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Liberalism & the Mystification of the Twentieth Century

[1]3,696 words

Today’s dominant ruling order, stretching over most of the world, can only be rejected in its entirety. This is only possible, though, with a lucid insight into how it gained the awesome power it wields today. Such an endeavor should begin with a clarification of how the globally entrenched power in question, and its accompanying ideological ethos, came to such a prominent position in the last century.

The present system is full of seeming contradictions, but its negation of everything high-minded in the human spirit is the glue that holds it together. To provide an example, take the degradation of women and femininity through today’s flood of pornography, and the simultaneous devaluation of men and masculinity by modern feminist ideologies. There is no reason to wonder why these tendencies coexist in the same system, because — as with all liberal syntheses of ostensible opposites — the negativity is the point.

Any trend not in active, conscious opposition to the system must be viewed as a part of it. This truism applies to all fashionable perspectives promoted by the system’s popular or “intellectual” outlets, even if they do not appear to have very much in common. “Neoconservatism” and “intersectional feminism,” for instance, can only be seen as fundamentally the same thing. To look at it any other way is to succumb to the establishment’s myth of arbitrary chaos. There is no such thing in reality, but this myth is everywhere in the system’s narratives, from the false picture it promotes of the business world even to the fraudulent cosmologies of our worthless pop scientists. Actually, every political and economic system is well-ordered and concretely ruled, whether it is forthright about this fact or — as is the case with the liberal models — anything but. Even a casino has a plan. Accordingly, it is useless and even counterproductive to oppose any one segment of today’s monstrous ruling order without wishing to topple the whole thing.

Having come to this realization, enemies of today’s organized civilizational abyss then face the tactical question of just how much of the structure is to be upended. This inquiry goes hand-in-hand with the opposite question, that of what is to be built in its place. To answer these, one must determine how far the problem goes back, but also at what point in time to draw the line, in the interest of avoiding looking so far back that distraction outweighs clarity.

In the struggle to resist the phenomenon identified here as “liberalism,” it is necessary to ponder where that phenomenon began – necessary, without a doubt, but this is not the purpose of the present exposition. Here is not the place to explore liberalism’s concrete origin in the seventeenth-century’s rejection of traditional Europe, or how that revolution came to the forefront of activities centered mainly in Britain at that time: Puritanism, Rosicrucianism, and the fully-formed incarnation of modern capitalism. Neither is the point here to evaluate the earlier Renaissance-era states that had strong proto-liberal tendencies, such as Venice or (in a different way) the Ottoman Empire. Even less is the aim of this analysis to search for antecedents of modern liberalism in ancient or early medieval times; that endeavor is fruitful for philosophers, but it also carries the danger of overthinking or leading to despair. Nor are my observations about liberalism’s deep connections with Jewry and Jewish culture, and the dual impossibility of either ignoring those influences or reducing the liberal hydra to them alone.

Finally, the present essay does not discuss the true place of the liberal impulse in psychology and anthropology, belonging as it does to the tendency that Edgar Allan Poe called “the Imp of the Perverse”: the innate human instinct to violate all natural and moral law for no other reason than because we should not. All these subjects, being bound up with the essence of liberalism, are crucial for a complete understanding of what the world faces in our time. Even so, the following points are limited to a more modest topic: namely, the triumph of the liberal ideology in the last century, and the confusions that still arise from it.

For such a task, it is best to start at the beginning of the twentieth century’s ideological wars. The Bolshevik revolutionaries of 1917 Russia, like their predecessors in the short-lived Provisional Government of that same year, enjoyed a crucial amount of political and financial support from the dominant economic institutions of the main Entente powers of the First World War: Britain, France, and the United States. There is no shortage of eye-opening scholarship on this subject, such as can be found in Kerry Bolton’s Revolution From Above. That book also exposes the Entente leadership’s official opposition to the Bolsheviks as a cynical charade. Thus were the key liberal victors of that war every bit as guilty of propping up the Bolsheviks as Imperial Germany more famously was, though without Germany’s excuse that Tsarist Russia was a wartime enemy. Furthermore, it was these liberal powers that sealed not only Russia’s fate but that of Europe by dismantling General Ludendorff’s Brest-Litovsk empire of 1918 — which, love it or hate it, was Europe’s first and last solid wall against the spread of Bolshevism. The succeeding era was marked by recognition of the latter threat, but it should not be forgotten that other dangers were also recognized in the age between the World Wars.

The interwar-era nationalist movements had nothing in common with the phony and superficial “anti-Communism” of the Cold War, because the former movements recognized liberalism and finance capital as the primary enemies of the nation, and Communism as only their younger offspring. Spain’s José Antonio Primo de Rivera was an anti-Communist martyr, yet he spent the greater weight of his intellectual energy reminding his people that modern capitalism is not the nation’s friend, either.

This same tendency also existed in the national movements of Eastern Europe, though this has sadly been somewhat lost to popular memory in those countries ever since the Soviets occupied them during the Second World War. Romania’s Corneliu Zelea Codreanu opposed Communism and liberalism equally, but was more often at war with the latter. Fittingly, he would be murdered by his country’s liberal pseudo-fascist establishment, not by the Communists.

This fundamental conviction can also be observed in German National Socialism, to the extent that a careful observer can separate its beginnings and its rise from its ruin as a result of Hitler’s Lebensraum idea. (The latter concept was unpopular with the Wehrmacht, and not even universally shared among the ranks of the NSDAP.) The founders of that movement, including Gottfried Feder and Max von Scheubner-Richter, had always singled out international finance as a great evil in its own right alongside the force responsible for Bolshevism’s evils. These sentiments were once even widespread in America, as shown by the popularity of the brilliant Catholic priest and radio broadcaster Charles Edward Coughlin during the 1930s.

So when was nationalism’s anti-liberal and anti-financial orientation forgotten? This ideological lobotomy began during the Cold War, when the formerly pro-Bolshevik liberal powers suddenly turned “anti-Communist,” more because of Stalin’s betrayal of the USSR’s creditors than anything else. It was in those years that the ideology of “free markets” was promoted as the opposite of Communism, and this propaganda infected many, if not most, of the nationalist movements of those decades. It is long past time to undo this confusing dilution of nationalism, and return the latter to its position of resistance to both liberalism and international usury.

As mentioned above, the American Cold War “anti-Communism” was extremely superficial, arising not from any deep moral convictions but mainly stemming from Stalin’s bad relations with the USSR’s creditors. If there was any secondary geopolitical reason for this soured relationship, then as Japanese historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa has shown in his book Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan, the strategic factor emerged from questions concerning the fate of the vanquished Empire of Japan — and not that of Europe, the merciless rape of which was never called into question by American policymakers at the time. In light of this “anti-Communist” history, there is no real reason to be surprised that the liberal powers welcomed into their own institutions ideological input from branches of Bolshevism that had by then fallen out of favor in the Soviet Union, such as unreformed admirers of Leon Trotsky or Béla Kun.

Having dispelled the mystique of liberal “anti-Communism” in its shallow inception, it is now necessary to turn to the question of how much credit the US-led liberal powers even deserve for Soviet Communism’s decline and collapse. To answer this inquiry is to discredit the mythological triumphalism that is believed by many to this day in various ways, both by enemies and nostalgic admirers of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the prevalence of the narrative of America’s “victory” over the Soviet state does not make it true.

In reality the Soviet downfall, to the extent that it was the result of any outside factor at all, can be credited to only one of these: namely, that the USSR suffered a fatal population loss during the Second World War, a more staggering one than the Soviet authorities were ever willing to admit. In a country as vast as Russia, the Soviet government had always faced difficulties with the task of connecting its infrastructural centers in Europe to the newly-developed ones in Asia, and this problem was exacerbated by the largely unacknowledged population crisis that resulted from the war. This is a cold observation, and admittedly it runs the risk of glorifying the evils of Lebensraum. Nevertheless, its implication stands: In the long term, Germany and Axis Eastern Europe (chiefly Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia) won their own freedom from the subsequent Soviet yoke. The US, with vulture-like ghoulishness, only usurped credit from the imminent fruits of those countries’ earlier tactical achievements. That point is not emphasized here with the intent of suggesting to any of those nations that they look to Hitler’s Russia policy as an appropriate model, but only to illustrate that all of them – and not the Cold War liberal powers – have earned the historic right to pursue whatever kind of relations with Russia they please. Anything else is but a pack of lies, and this is not reversed by the readiness with which these untruths are believed everywhere.

Resisters against our age’s almost globally dominant mindset cannot therefore look to any of the strands of Cold War liberalism for solutions. Still, there are plenty of ideas to be furnished from the twentieth century, in the works of both intellectuals and men of action. There are also concepts to be taken from the philosophical literature of the previous century, and there is even much ancient and medieval wisdom that can be very helpful for such a cause. At the same time, the search for ideas outside the liberal paradigm must be conducted carefully. A word of caution is in order on this point, it seems particularly necessary to criticize one popular fashion in today’s hunt for non-liberal alternatives.

Among some in circles that are critical of liberalism’s drive for world domination today, it has been suggested that Communism perhaps deserves some kind of rehabilitation. Any ideology that challenged the forces of liberalism, according to this line of thought, demands a second look. Proponents of this trend argue that Communism was buried by the dishonest liberal powers, and we cannot take the latter at their word about Communism having been a negative phenomenon. Yet without believing what the liberal powers have ever said about anything, this sympathetic picture of Communism is not the view being propounded here.

It should be remembered that liberalism very much preceded Communism, not to mention indispensably influenced it. Marx and Engels were steeped in liberal notions of “social progress,” which they sought to expand to new frontiers. To this point, it could be objected that not everything Marx wrote is liberal, and that some of his analyses may even be valuable in the fight against liberalism’s economic weapons. Marx’s useful side is probably best embodied in his theory of the lumpenproletariat — the criminal underclass that will always do high finance’s bidding. Nevertheless, the overall picture of Communist philosophy’s relation to liberalism’s “progressive” mentality is clear. From its inception in Marx and Engels, Communism did not actually oppose the liberal ethos but rather sought to expand its reach beyond the domain of bourgeois Western man to which it had been hitherto restricted to new audiences such as workers, women, and non-Western nations. In this respect, Communism has long since done its work, just as the bankers who funded the Bolshevik Revolution hoped it would. That very fact vindicates all the great political minds who saw Communism not as genuine resistance to liberalism, but as essentially a form of it.

This critique of Communism’s dubious threat to liberal dominance has so far only referenced the underlying moral similarity of both ideologies. It has not yet addressed the question of class warfare versus class cooperation. Neither of those economic strategies is a higher social good in itself; like war or peace as such, their advisability depends upon the immediate circumstances and the particular context. Yet, without going so far as to endorse the Marxist fetish for class war, it cannot be denied that the classical fascist preference for class cooperation is rather outmoded. It rests on the circumstance of a nation’s business class and its working class both being composed of patriotic elements, and not – as today – on cases of the former class being led entirely by the most treacherous rats imaginable. However, even in such a scenario as we have today, in which the capitalist class can only be fought to a finish, there are two reasons why Communist philosophy is of limited use at best.

The first reason has to do with the above-described liberal tendencies of Communism’s philosophical ethos, and how hateful that ethical orientation is to the working class at its core. This problem was explored by the French political theorist Georges Sorel, and later in Ernst Jünger’s 1932’s work The Worker: Dominion and Form. Sorel and Jünger, in an altogether deeper way than Marx, traced these cancerous mentalities to the bourgeoisie and touted the working class as the real champion of the nation. In this way, their economic thought might be seen as closer to the Marxist predilection for class warfare, but that interpretation only takes into account their surface arguments. According to Sorel and Jünger, the stout, hard, world-aloof outlook of the working class stands only to be mutilated by Communism’s bourgeois-derived belief in “social progress.” Both authors argued that the liberal ethos of the world-improver is far from an appropriate weapon in the hands of the worker, as Marx dubiously saw it. It rather amounts to cultural rape of the working class, whose modern political creeds have all been poisoned by it.

As early as 1874, in the wake of the Paris Commune, the Romanian poet and editorialist Mihai Eminescu made essentially the same point in his poem “Emperor and Proletarian.” This pro-worker critique of Communist ideology has been vindicated by the neutered state of the working classes throughout the entire European-derived world of today, from America to Russia. Historically, such a fate could have been avoided if working class politics had been wedded to a more suitable philosophy than the emasculating faith in “social progress.”

The second reason why today’s resistance to liberal power cannot find much of use in Communism is the latter’s negative relationship with the agricultural sector. True to the cosmopolitan orientation of Marx and Engels themselves, Bolshevism always shared with urban capitalism a boundless arrogance toward the agricultural calling. Oswald Spengler is excellent on this topic, especially in the book known in English translation as The Hour of Decision. This book actually devotes more space to analyzing this economic issue than it does to its more famous prophesies of today’s racial conflicts. There are entire rich traditions of agrarian ideologies in America, Europe, and Russia, though these tended to gather dust in the decades after they came to be dominated by American liberalism and Soviet-style Communism. (It should also be mentioned that the fact that the Bolsheviks were aggressively anti-agrarian had been one of the main reasons why the great US-based capitalist enterprises had backed Bolshevism to begin with.)

As a counterpoint to the example of the Bolsheviks and their urban bellicosity, one could draw attention to some of the developments in the East Asian nations, with their admirably shameless approach to modern ideologies. The East Asian countries in question attempted to downplay the deadly antagonism between Communism and agrarianism, striving to reconcile the two nemeses. (One could object, with the usual humanitarian clichés gleaned from trite liberal philosophy, that such movements were too ruthless and their records too bloody for them to be able to teach the current European-derived world anything of “civilized” value. It is in fact the other way around; whatever else can be said regarding Mao or Pol Pot, any impactful trend in politics that combined a pro-agricultural ideology with that much political violence is categorically worth learning from — now more than ever.)

It’s too early to pass final judgement on the legacy of these syntheses and on the issue of whether they will ultimately prove to have been virile or sterile in the history of East Asia. What is important is that these hybrid ideologies of the Far East do not reflect in any significant way how Communism’s relation to the farmer has almost unanimously been understood in the European-derived world from the beginning. Fringe exceptions like the syncretic ideology described in Freikorps veteran Ernst von Salomon’s It Cannot Be Stormed, a true account of a farmers’ revolt led by the author’s own brother in the Weimar years, were not as true to the spirit of Marxism as the more consequential urban arrogance of the Bolsheviks.

To be sure, there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the major Communist personalities of East Asian history in their national missions to reverse the urbanite bias of the traditional Marxist formula. That’s why it is ironic that Mao took seriously the doctrinaire Marxist reproach of “revisionism,” for in terms of the essence and purpose of Communist ideology, there is nothing more revisionist than fighting on the side of the farmer. Whatever this contradiction may yet entail for the future of the Far East, its meaning is clear for the European-derived world of today: At a time when the plutocratic class menaces the farming profession perhaps more than ever, there is no reason why rural communities should look for hope in the memory of Communism, an ideological phenomenon that had nothing but contempt for them.

So much for the doubtful viability of Communism’s use for today’s anti-liberal resistance. What remains is the task of dispelling the lingering influence of Cold War myths on those strands most inclined toward nationalistic hostility against liberalism’s global reach. Throughout much, if not most, of the European-derived world, the root cause of civilizational ruin is often mistaken for one of its effects: namely, Communism. Among Americans, this confusion reflects decades of conditioning not only to (rightly) see Communism as a wicked phenomenon, but to (wrongly) view it as the first and last phase of Western cultural degradation.

It may be charged that such an error is natural for a country like the United States, cursed as it has been by the shadow of liberal philosophy from the beginning. Yet such an interpretation of American sentiments, taken too far, ignores the prevalence of liberalism’s unearned “anti-Communist” reputation in parts of Eastern Europe today — even though true liberalism is even less native to the nations of that region than it is to Germany. In these countries, the poisonous persistence of the liberal mystique is often intertwined with deeply-rooted national disputes with Russia. Those vary in their historical origins, from the Renaissance-era conflicts between Poles and Muscovy to the degenerated later Russian Tsardom’s scandalous land-grab of Romanian Bessarabia. In any case, the widespread distortion of liberalism’s relation to Communism — whether the underlying emotional reasons for it are shallow like those of Americans, or deep such as those of their Eastern European counterparts — always results in blindness to the reality: Communism was a major liberal-instigated stage of the moral downfall of European civilization, but not the first and by no means the last one.

That basic truth about Communism is not only of historiographical interest, but also furnishes an interesting lesson to be learned today. It is all well and good to point to liberal hobbies that rest only on pure lies, like the disgusting contemporary lionization of transgenderism. But at least as often, the modern liberal dominion operates through the financial and intellectual subversion of activities based on true premises, such as that nature does not exist to be plundered or that real men do not beat their wives. In our age, liberalism co-opts and contaminates every such cause it touches, as it did the cause of the proletarian worker in times past.

The above analysis might be accused of promoting despair, if only because it describes so many things that are easy to feel despair about. Yet its purpose is not despair, but clarity. These observations have been put forth with the intent of supporting nothing short of an anti-liberal revolution. Such an uprising naturally starts from the simple defense of one’s homeland and inherited ethnic characteristics. But make no mistake: It can only end in something that shakes the entire world. It is true that “the entire world” has been viewed here mostly from the focal point of what has been called the European-derived world, both in its Western and Eastern branches, but readers from the Asiatic civilizations are free to take from the preceding arguments whatever they may find helpful. As of yet, it is not really foreseeable whether this anti-liberal revolution will begin in the countries that have been identified as barren of real native liberal traditions, or those that have been described as having been ruled by corrosive liberal establishments for a very long time. Either way, it is long overdue.

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